Car hire Cairns: tour the city in style and at ease with a rental

What you should know before hiring a car in Cairns

Cairns city centre
Cairns Airport (CNS): 3 mi from city centre

Car hires in Cairns: practical information

Where to rent a car in Cairns

If a trip to the impressive Great Barrier Reef is in your cards, then Cairns is your destination. If you arrive on flights to Cairns International Airport then we recommend you also pick up a low cost Cairns car hire, it's by far the easiest way to get around this part of Queensland. There are two car rental offices, one in the Domestic Terminal and one in the International Terminal which offer car hire deals from Avis, Europcar, Redspot, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty.

If you're looking for a car hire Cairns city, then the best place to look is near The Pier on and around Abbott Street and Sheridan Street. Budget, Europcar, A1 Car Rental, Avis, East Coast Car Rentals and Rent-A-Bomb are just a few of the possibilities. Whether you pick up a Cairns car hire at the airport or in the city, always compare the prices before booking.

Driving in Cairns: parking and other tips

There are many great places to visit in the Far North part of Queensland. It's almost essential to have a rental if you really want to see a lot of sights and see them at your own pace. In Cairns itself though, it's easy to get around the city centre without one.

Parking is extremely easy in Cairns, even in the city centre. Street parking with metres cost just AU$1-2 per hour. Do remember however not to leave any valuables visible if you plan to leave your car for any extended period of time. In the summers (November to March) cars can heat up a lot, melting even CDs so take care when parking your Cairns rent car in the sun.

Road trips from Cairns: what to do, what to see

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

It's no wonder that Cairn's main industry is tourism, as it's the gateway to this incredible reef. The best way to see it is from below the surface of the water on a diving trip. The best experiences are with small dive boats, whether you can to scuba dive or just snorkel. The smaller the boat, the easier it is to access more remote parts of the reef that are off-limits for larger boats.

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Why not visit the rainforest while you're on holidays in Cairns? Mossman Gorge is part of Daintree National Park and located 80 kilometres north of Cairns and is home to the indigenous Kuku Yulanji people. While you're there, don't miss a dreamtime walk guided by a member of the local indigenous group which includes a traditional smoking ceremony, beach time and a cup of bush tea.

Kuranda

Kuranda

Kuranda makes an easy day trip from Cairns with economy Cairns car rentals. The trip takes a mere 40 minutes by car or you can reach it via the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Three popular attractions include the Kuranda Koala Garden (which also has crocodiles, kangaroos, snakes and lizards), the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Rainforestation Nature Park where you can learn to throw a boomerang or spear and how to play the didgeridoo.

The best car hire deals in Cairns

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  • August 2022
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  • price
  • popularity
Jucy Car Rentals
£46 per day Verify
  • 4
Toyota Corolla Compact, 4/5 Door, Auto
VIPCars Recommendation
£47 per day Verify
  • 3
Suzuki Swift Economy, 4/5 Door, Auto
Sixt
£57 per day Verify
  • 5
Hyundai Kona Compact, Monospace, Auto
Budget
£78 per day Verify
  • 5
Hyundai I30 Intermediate, 2/4 Door, Auto
Bargain Car Rentals
£81 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 2
Hyundai Accent Compact, 4/5 Door, Auto
Sixt
£85 per day Verify
  • 5
Peugeot 508s Premium, 2/4 Door, Auto
Sixt
£88 per day Verify
  • 8
Peugeot 508 Standard, 4/5 Door, Auto
Budget
£91 per day Verify
Kia Cerato Intermediate, 4/5 Door, Auto
BC Car Rentals
£91 per day Verify
Mg Hs Standard, SUV, Auto
Bargain Car Rentals
£98 per day Verify
  • 5
  • 6
Holden Acadia FullSize, SUV, Auto
Alamo Rent a Car
£107 per day Verify
Toyota Yaris Compact, 4/5 Door, Auto
Sixt
£131 per day Verify
  • 8
  • 3
Kia Carnival Standard Elite, Van, Auto

The best hotels in Cairns